Cheltenham Tips

Paul Nicholls Day 4 Cheltenham Runners: Sonigino has each-way chance in Martin Pipe

Betfair ambassador and four-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Paul Nicholls
Will Bravemansgame give Paul Nicholls a fifth Gold Cup win?

Betfair ambassador Paul Nicholls has five runners on Friday at Cheltenham but there is no doubt about the star attraction as Bravemansgame bids to go one better than last year's second in the Gold Cup...

Paul Nicholls Superboost

Bravemansgame finished runner-up in last year's Cheltenham Gold Cup and he's never failed to finish in the top five over fences. You can back him now to finish in the top five in today's Gold Cup at 15:30 at the super-boosted price of 2/13.00.

Back Bravemansgame to finish Top 5 in 15:30 @ 2/13.00

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14:10 - Afadil

He's a useful handicapper with conditions in his favour and I'd love to see the ground dry up for him. He was raised 4lbs after a tidy success at Musselburgh early in February when the official going was good to soft which was ideal for him. If Cheltenham gets more rain then I'd be in two minds about running him.

Watch Ditcheat Decs Day 4...

14:10 - Rare Middleton

The same comments apply to Rare Middleton who won tidily on decent ground on his last start at Doncaster in December. There is more to come from Rare Middleton who is now 6lbs higher, is still lightly raced but would prefer drier conditions at Cheltenham than he is likely to encounter.

14:50 - Captain Teague

He's a classy horse who showed a great attitude to see off three challengers in attritional ground in the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle at Newbury at the end of December. He's a strong stayer, conditions are right for him and he worked really well on an away day at Kempton earlier this month. He is as fresh as fresh could be and has a lovely chance.

15:30 - Bravemansgame

He is back for another crack at the Gold Cup after chasing home Galopin des Champs a year ago which was a brilliant effort. I expect him to be in the shake up again and drying ground would help. Good to soft would be perfect for him.
I don't think we had Bravemansgame at his best in the first part of the season when his programme didn't work out as I'd have liked. But he has turned a corner since then, I've freshened him up and we have him right where he wants to be now. He worked great at Kempton recently and returns to Cheltenham in top order.

17:30 - Sonigino

He is probably handicapped right on his limit but he will not mind how testing it is at Cheltenham as the ground was almost unraceable when he bolted up at Aintree in December. Things didn't work out for him next time at Kempton. But he's got a good jockey in Freddie Gingell and should have a sporting each way chance in a fiercely competitive handicap.

Paul's best chance on Friday - Captain Teague, 14:50

"I expect him to be staying on stoutly on his first start at this longer trip."

Timeform's view on Paul Nicholls' best chance on Friday

Captain Teague - 14:50 Cheltenham

Paul Nicholls' last three winners of the Challow Novices' Hurdle - Bravemansgame, Stage Star and Hermes Allen - were all soundly beaten at the Cheltenham Festival in the Baring Bingham. However, Nicholls has elected to send his latest Challow winner, Captain Teague, over the longer distance of the Albert Bartlett and that seemes a sensible move given he seems likely to prove at least as effective over three miles.

Captain Teague has a couple of Irish novices from the Willie Mullins stable in Readin Tommy Wrong and Dancing City ahead of him on Timeform's figures but he's certainly a player on form and it's worth noting that he ran well to finish third in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival last season.

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